Latest Public Sector News

12.09.16

Departing judge says child abuse inquiry has ‘inherent problem’

The inquiry into historic allegations of child sexual abuse suffers from an “inherent problem” because its scope is too large, its former chair has said.

Justice Lowell Goddard, who resigned in August, submitted a memo to the Home Affairs Select Committee setting out what she saw as the problems with the inquiry.

“It is clear there is an inherent problem in the sheer scale and size of the inquiry (which its budget does not match) and therefore in its manageability,” she said.

“Its boundless compass, including as it does, every state and non-state institution, as well as relevant institutional contexts, coupled with the absence of any built-in time parameters, does not fit comfortably or practically within the single inquiry model in which it currently resides. Nor is delivery on the limitless extent of all of the aspirations in its terms of reference possible in any cohesive or comprehensive manner.”

Justice Goddard said her departure should be an opportunity for a review of the inquiry. She added that after the inquiry was reconstituted under her leadership, it “proved in operational terms not to be a new inquiry with a completely fresh start, but rather a continuation and expansion of the previously existing inquiry in terms of its administration and management”.

The former chair said she was not consulted in the recruitment of additional staff for the new inquiry and some of the staff were unsuitable because they had no previous experience of running an inquiry of this kind. She also said that the inquiry’s public communications strategy needs to be “radically strengthened” in the future.

The inquiry suffered a further blow after victims’ groups threatened to boycott it. Raymond Stevenson, of the Shirley Oaks’ Survivors Association, said there was no guarantee that the inquiry’s investigation into the treatment of children in care in Lambeth was “truly independent” because the Home Office were heavily involved in both this inquiry and previous investigations.

John McCabe, a spokesperson for victims of alleged abuse at Medomsley detention centre, said he was urging victims and their lawyers to boycott the inquiry because it was not taking evidence from victims who were abused over the age of 18.

(Image c. PA Images)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

08/10/2019NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

Hayley Clark, the acting head of development and impact at the NSPCC, talks about the significant gap in support services for children who have been sexually abused and the Ho... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >